Hand Tools Archive

Re: Stroke Tester
Response To:
Re: Stroke Tester ()

david weaver
I have had similar experience with harder tools (one on a Mosaku plane, the other being one of Kiyotada's chisels - it's just harder than the other two that I have).

They pretty much need synthetic workup because few naturals will cut them. The synthetic edge at the end is still nicer and its toughness seems a little better. When tools get that hard, it can be difficult to find something that leaves the edge tough and sharp. The more slight the angle, the harder the task.

I should backtrack - I also have two very old (they were inexpensive to me, not sure about when they were made) irons that are extremely hard. They are almost unused - I think the hardness is probably why. I haven't put them in planes yet, but figure I will do the same thing, and if they can't hold their edge, I'll just put them in the oven at 25 degree intervals until I have something that's tolerable.

Not sure if I can tell yet if there's any advantage to the super ultra hard irons and chisels. The "very hard" seem to fit the profile of the job well - hold an edge as long as possible to get through the day without resharpening on site. But, when they get beyond that, i think they may go in reverse in terms of durability.

Beach's display of the Hock carbon steel iron matches that. i could never get the Hock carbon steel irons to wear well, and figured they were overhard. Ron disagrees with that and feels that if they are heated to light straw, the temper is ruined. I think they would wear better at light straw, but I'm not willing to do the stroke test (plus, I don't have any of them any longer).

The eskilstuna iron on beach's page would probably be close to the hardness of the earliest temper colors appearing - it fails much more uniformly (plus, I've had a few eskilstuna irons, and one is overhard and fails the same way the hock does - in bigger bits). The interesting conclusion from Beach's site is that the wear bevel can be longer if it's more uniform. Beach uses the length of the wear bevel as his indicator of wear, but it's not the only factor (which you have mentioned, but I doubt many understand - the "I can see the wear, but it's still planing" kind of thing).

(I think I just went on a tangent! I'm still resisting refitting one of my planes with the tsune iron because I really don't have a need, but they are definitely good).

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